A- A A+

Clues so far to the magic in reality

4 Comments
Darby Hudson |  07 May 2017

 

Selected poems

 

Abandoned supermarket trolley

It makes me feel strangely warm and good inside when I see a solitary abandoned trolley spent and listless in a street, for reasons I don't understand. I feel even better when I spot one dumped into a canal with the carp under the moon, their natural habitat. I feel a weird glee. From the glare of the sanitary light in the aisle of a supermarket where people grab at things to impregnate it with their life, back to the beautiful emptyness of the dead-end streets of suburbia and lives unlived

 

 

Bringing it to life

Noticing something tiny can bring it to life — jump it alive. Puppeteering a flower, a blade of grass or the shadow of a leaf in the wind with your eyes and heart. The possibility of finding an entire universe within it. That true magic really exists. Which is why I find it weird when people invest in the big things: big tvs, big houses, big dumb box-ticking their way safely through life — no gamble; that they've somehow lost courage; somehow lost the will to live

 

 

Character

We all become 'characters' the older we get, I think. Like crumpled shirts. Un-ironed out by life. Ripped, stained, demented. The collar long ago lost the plastic things inside it to keep it hard and straight. Now like weary bashed butterfly wings.

 

 

Clues

I would pick up rubbish on the street as a kid and think that these objects were clues tied to some bigger mystery. Today I saw a clue drift past in the sky

 

 

4am, driving down the freeway in the rain

I felt there was something special and beautiful in the darkness, in the middle of the night. Not a 'horror' or a 'bewitching hour'. Just a strange world. People asleep at maximum REM. Not much synapse activity, analysis or thinking as everyone dreamt along to their own tune. You could actually feel the calmness of non-thinking across the land, the non-energy of human brain activity in the psychosphere – the electricity of thousands of brains shut-down as the storm calmly flashed in front of me

 

 

The magic in reality — clues so far:

Repeat your name over and over and it doesn't make sense.

Being able to hear your name across a noisy crowded room.

Some people don't look like their names.

Being able to see things in the dark by not looking at them directly.

The 5th dimensional ring of a wine glass.

Walking down an old path brings back a conversation you had in exactly the same location years ago.

Two people you know — who don't know one another — message you at the same time, almost every time.

Your handwriting looks exactly like your father's.

The unfamiliar noises of a new home while lying in the dark.

Revisiting a childhood park destroys the memory and paves over it with the newer, boring adult memory.

When you chase something you can't have it.

You don't know what you truly think until you cast it out loud, like trying on new clothes in front of a mirror.

The words 'hat' and 'pant' are funny for no reason at all.

Closing your eyes doesn't make you invisible.

You can have sex with someone just by looking into their eyes.

Trees are angels in a world of evil.

 

 

Sleepwalking

There's an old game I'd play as a kid: close my eyes and count how many steps I could walk forward without opening them. Sometimes I'd get to 10 steps, or even 50 before hitting a pole or tripping over the gutter. Playing this game now feels like a life — each step a year lived — 38, 39, 40… And with each blind step into the darkness, the initial anchoring and orientating scene of light emblazoned on the back of my eyelids becomes an increasingly unreliable bearing. Each step more difficult, precarious and strangely dizzying. That once iridescent image rapidly fading as I move blindly into the disorientating unknown, worry and caution escalating. Sleepwalking. That faint picture of childhood vanishing.

 

 

Suburban football match

The authentic way to experience a suburban football match is not to attend from a four-door Sedan by the boundary fence with sauce, pie and a sneaky Peter Jackson. Instead you spectate from miles away, without disturbing it. Unseen. The Sound Of A Distant Suburban Football Match. 36 players in the palm of my head. The faint trill of whistle connected to the centre of my brain by thin thread. Muffled cheers. The tissue-paper whistle again, a cageless, strange bird in constant distress. Then the dim siren. Score unknown. Woodfire smoke from somewhere; a dog's wasted bark across the land; the brittle ephemera of Football lost on the grey sky. I sit goalless by the tracks — a magpie perched on the electrical train wires above me. Then I glance up again and it's gone

 

 

Darby Hudson

Darby Hudson has been published in Eureka Street and Black Inc's Best Australian Poems, 2012 and 2013.

 


Darby Hudson

Recent articles by this author


Comments

Comments should be short, respectful and on topic. Email is requested for identification purposes only.

Word Count: 0 (please limit to 200)

Submitted comments

Thank you, Darby. I enjoyed your selection of everyday-event poems. Mindfulness needs reminders.

Patricia Taylor 09 May 2017

Darby, your ability to notice something "tiny" has cheered me this morning and the reminder that maybe I have become a bit crumpled by life and like a collar with "bashed butterfly wings "instead of being hard and straight ,sort of made me laugh . I was reassured recently of a parable about a " good shepherd" who looks after His defenseless, battered, character sheep and I laughed with even more abandon. Thanks. I like your beautiful words and their lilting pace.

Celia 09 May 2017

I like the way you think, Darby.

Pam 09 May 2017

Wow!! Man u can really pull them out!! Those truths!Those desires!! Those insights!!! Thank you 4 those gifts!!!

Peter C 30 May 2017

Similar articles

Weighing evil in the wake of nuns' war terror

2 Comments
Tim Kroenert | 17 May 2017

'Faith is 24 hours of doubt and one minute of hope,' says one of the nuns at a 1945 Polish convent. Soon Red Cross doctor and avowed atheist Mathilde learns the details of the predicament: of the terror wrought at the convent by Russian soldiers at the end of the war. Over the coming weeks, she oversees the health of those who fell pregnant during the intrusion. Gradually she wins their trust and, in the process, has her mind opened to a brand of faith that, in such circumstances, can be anything but blind.


Sweat shop sheet

3 Comments
Linda Stevenson | 15 May 2017

Blood-stained sheetThe hem is good to touch, has a firm stitch. I wonder ... who pressed it flat, by whose hand was the white cotton thread sent bobbing, in what factory did my semi-slave breathe, labour? Was it here, a sweatshop in our own suburbs, or a distant forced camp? What lamps burned through hard-pressed nights of work? The sheet's material is light, a white cotton, beckons rest for me. Except, I still think over it ... who dyed, sewed, folded, packed? Who went to their bed dog-tired, with blood-sore fingers?


Who was that luckless politician?

3 Comments
Geoff Page | 01 May 2017

Steve Fielding pixellatedWho was that luckless politician, federal, I think, gone now from so many memories, including mine? Male, a sort of suited fledgling, older maybe than he looked, the guy who feelingly achieved, while reaching for the aphoristic wisdom of his people, the verbal train-wreck we remember so much better than than the 'issue' or his features as they pleaded with the swooping of a lens: I'm torn between two places and a hard rock?


Poems for Anzac Day

2 Comments
Jena Woodhouse and Ian C. Smith | 24 April 2017

Anzac Day buglerNow, the forces of annihilation once again cohere, as if this were a valve in history's cardiac arrhythmia that faltered and unleashed a haemorrhage of horror, trauma, fear. The damask roses bloom unharvested in devastated fields. Their perfume cannot mask the stench that permeates the air, the atmosphere of dread, of mute despair. But when the juggernaut of war is redeployed elsewhere, the fragrant fields will come into their own, if there are hands to care.


Hardline on soft drink

8 Comments
Isabella Fels | 02 May 2017

Glass of colaIn my late 20s when I became seriously unwell and diagnosed with schizophrenia, Coca-Cola was like an ever flowing fountain of happiness for me. How I loved sipping it. I would even quickly down it with my meds. I could feel life getting better and speeding up. Having Coke was magic. But lately, with all the publicity surrounding the dangers of drinking fizzy, sugary soft drinks, I am trying to cut down. It is not easy trying to fight an almost lifelong addiction.